Mines and Glaciers

Our campsite along the Kennicott river was sublime. Glacier views and a glacial river with ocassional ice chunks floating down. It was a bit cold, we were glad we weren’t in a tent… poor Bob.

We took the $5 shuttle bus up to the company town of Kennecott. Copper was discovered here in 1900, and by 1903 the Kennecott Copper Corporation was formed, with financial backing from the Guggenheims and J.P. Morgan. It was supposed to be named after the Kennicott Glacier, located within view of the mine, a clerical error forever changed the town and mine name to Kennecott (with an ‘e’).

The mine functioned from 1911-1938, when the last workers were given an hour and a half notice before the last train – and the town was left a beautiful red wooden ghost town. Now it’s part of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, with some incredible hikes.

We chose the hike to the toe of Root Glacier. Nothing beats a glacier lunch. Plus, Bode earned another Junior Ranger badge at America’s largest (and possibly least visited) National Park. At 13.2 million acres, Wrangell-St. Elias is bigger than Switzerland and contains a glacier larger than the state of Rhode Island.

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